Pace, tension, mystery

A couple of weeks ago I shared my thoughts on a TV series – well, actually it was only the first episode because I was so bored by its predictability and stereotypical characters and situations that I didn’t watch any more. There was absolutely nothing about it which intrigued me enough to want to find out more, not on any level. I titled my post ‘No pace, no light relief, no tension, no mystery’ which was a sentence from a paragraph: ‘It was so predictable! It was so dull! It was so clichéd! There was… nothing quirky, nothing intriguing, it was predictable and the characters were stereotypes.’

That was pretty harsh, I know, but now I’m watching another series which the exact opposite is true, in fact it haunts my thoughts during the day and I can’t wait to find the time to watch the last couple of episodes! I have two episodes of one of my favourite TV shows, Silent Witness to watch, and I can’t until I catch up with this new drama! I checked to see if a second series was made (before I’d finished the first) because it was so good, the characters so realistic and engaging, the mystery truly mysterious and mystifying, plenty of edge-of-the-seat scenes, lots of watching-through- fingers-over-eyes because it was so tense, that I couldn’t wait to see series 2. Unfortunately, it had such lukewarm reviews that a second series was never made. I was stunned, when I watch other things which aren’t nearly as good and there are several series churned out, it seems astonishing that this one was dropped.

The drama I’m so enthralled by is ‘The Loch’, and you can guess from the title that it’s set in Scotland and the scenery is absolutely stunning, and Lock Ness – the loch in question, becomes almost a character in the mystery. I’d not come across any of the actors, apart from John Sessions, but they are all excellent and make the characters they portray very believable in an ordinary way. The lead character, and the person the action follows most is DS Annie Redford (Laura Fraser); she’s shown as clever, full of initiative, and the mistakes she makes (it’s a recognised trope that main characters do something stupid!) are within the context of the character and her relationships with her family and friends. Her eighteen year-old daughter, on the other hand is really difficult and annoying, and believable. The lead detective trying to solve the mystery is DCI Lauren Quigley played by Siobhan Finneran; she’s tough, driven, sometimes unfair, but willing to make hard decisions. I’m not being rude to the actress in saying she looks ordinary, like the sort of woman you might meet anywhere, not a glamourous, not sexy, a hard person, a practical person and someone who would definitely take no bullshit. The other actors, and the characters they play are of the same ilk – they seem like real people, even though of course for the sake of the drama they do things normal people wouldn’t do!

Set in a village on the shores of Loch Ness, the monster of course plays a part, but not in the way that might be expected, because of course there is no monster – not of an animal kind although maybe  a human monster. The drama isn’t unremittingly gloomy, Annie’s husband makes a living from taking tourists on his boat round the loch on monster hints because he saw the creature when he was a child  – some light relief comes when he makes a confession to his wife about the sighting, although the viewer already knows exactly what is lurking in the loch! There are subplots, which weave into the main story, there are suspicious characters who may or may not have something to hide, and may or may not be guilty of something, which may or may not be connected to the murders, and tehre are apparently unrelated storylines which have to be resolved.

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page to find out more, and you can watch it on ITV Hub:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Loch_(TV_series)

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